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  • We are totally blown away by the creative audacity of Bay Area leaders proposing a per-mile tax on driving, maybe as early as next year, using--wait for it--a GPS-like tracker in every car to measure the distance it goes and the time of day the miles are racked up.

    Contra Costa Times
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    UK researchers say more trees and other vegetation at street level would clean air in areas that are normally exposed to higher pollution levels. Plants in towns and cities have been shown to remove nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and particulate matter (PM), both of which are harmful to human health...."The benefit of green walls is that they clean up the air coming into and staying in the street canyon," Prof Rob MacKenzie of the University of Birmingham observed.

    BBC
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    The exurbs – those deconcentrated towns flung far beyond the urban core and just outside the suburban spread – have been growing faster than the rest of the country in recent years, even amid the housing bust and economic recession. According to a new analysis from the Urban Institute and researchers at the U.S. Census Bureau, these areas have seen growth rates that far outpace more densely populated areas as well as the nation as a whole.

    Atlantic Cities
  • ...With his most public cheerleading yet for California's bullet train, Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday signed the $8 billion bill to kick off high-speed rail construction and showed no sign he was worried about voters' increasing skepticism for the rail line.

    Mercury News
  • ...Trying to define exactly where every transportation dollar in the U.S. goes is probably more effort than it's worth. Understanding generally where that money goes, however, is both doable and informative. A new report has tracked the spending priorities of each state, as laid out in their state transportation improvement programs (STIP).

    Atlantic Cities
  • ...Following is a brief overview of cycling and walk- ing trends and policies in the United States and West- ern Europe, with a focus on the United Kingdom, Denmark, Germany, and the Netherlands, the coun- tries for which the most comparable and detailed data are available.

    TR News
  • Muni paid thousands of dollars in bonuses to top executives for meeting or exceeding on-time performance goals, even as the agency inflated its on-time rates by as much as 18 percent. The agency's two previous chief executives, Michael Burns and Nathaniel Ford, received the bonuses. Both men have denied knowing about the on-time rate inflation.

    Bay Citizen
  • Boral Roofing in Stockton makes a lot of tiles, but there’s one tile that goes beyond the rest....John Renowden, Boral’s VP of Technology, explained the key is a photo catalyst mixed into the tile’s coating, which UV rays activate. “It oxidizes nitrogen oxides one of the main components of smog,” said Renowden. “Rather than actually eating it, it helps prevent the formation of smog.”

    KTXL Sacramento
  • A federal appeals court upheld a new Environmental Protection Agency rule to limit nitrogen dioxide emissions near major roadways, in a defeat for the oil industry, which said the rule went beyond what was necessary to protect public health. Tuesday's decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., is a victory for the Obama administration and environmental groups that supported the 2010 rule, which limits exhaust that could remain in the air for a one-hour period.

    Reuters
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    News reports from Beijing indicate that the China Development Bank is negotiating to finance a massive urban redevelopment project in San Francisco. This deal appears to be the first significant funding of a private U.S. investment by the CDB. We think it’s a promising sign of things to come. The Bayview Hunters Point/Candlestick Point project is innovative on a number of fronts: social policy, technology, urban design, real estate and finance.

    Atlantic Cities